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Innovation competition rewards student entrepreneurs on campus

The Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition shows UMBC’s innovation offerings

The Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition finals were held this past Thursday, April 23, from 7-9 P.M. on the seventh floor of the AOK Library and Gallery. The CBIC finals, a competition for all UMBC students, consisted of seven entrepreneurial individuals or groups of students and their technology related business ideas.

Judging the competition was Ed Chalfin, Kelly Trumpbour and Demian Costa. In the audience was Greg Cangialosi, UMBC alumnus, CEO of MissionTix, chairman and cofounder of Betamore and co-chair of the Baltimore Angels.

Winning third place was Annah Seo presenting her application, Pivot, a job finding tool for millennials in high school and college. Pivot, she said, is “a new tool to link millennials to their new job and to their new employers and to help employers find potential talent.”

The competition’s second place winners were Patrick Wheltle and Robbie Oehrli with their company, Baltimore Emergency Medical Technology. Through a very energetic and passionate performance, Wheltle and Oehrli outlined their idea for electronic triage tags costing between $20 and $30, an alternative for currently used paper methods.

These tags would relay information between EMS providers, allowing for better distribution of personnel. It also provides a more efficient estimate of needed resources, which will ultimately, “save time, save resources and most importantly, save lives,” according to Wheltle.

In first place was Michael Gardner with his software as a service platform, NeighborhoodNet, a site that, “bridges the communication gap between the residents and the community managers, facilitates an easy online communication method and has a simple setup and easy user set up.”

NeighborhoodNet is a platform that fixes the flaws found in competitors’ sites, as well as adding multiple new easy-to-use features such as discussion forums, polls, interactive maps, document storage and even a way to pay homeowner association fees online. While right now, NeighborhoodNet is a standalone site, Gardner promises a native application coming soon.

Also presenting, were Gaurav Luthria with PrkPinJohn Leung and Namrata Mohanty with tldrBills, Sheriff Taiwo and Fabrice Nkodo with Rentme along, and Jack Neumeier and Andres Camacho for their idea True Greens.

At the end of the night though the winners were absolutely elated to have their companies win. Not only because they won, but also because first, second and third place came with prizes of $5,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively. They also won financial, legal and all summer to collaborate and learn at Betamore, a campus for entrepreneurship in downtown Baltimore.

When asked where the idea came from, Gardner talked about a company that he and a friend started up while he was in high school, Lucid Media, and shared how that developed into NeighborhoodNet. He said, “We luckily saw a problem that we identified a potential solution for, created that solution and now we are ready to take it to the market.”

Gardner said that the next step is to “graduate with my degree in information systems but one can immerse themselves in their business as well with a little extra dedication and a little less sleep.”

Cangialosi emphasized the opportunity that winning gives students. “[Betamore] focuses on three things, incubation of early stage tech comp, community development and education,” he said, “we teach skills like front and back end web development, data based design and all kinds of things.”

Even though not everyone won, CBIC was without a doubt a display of all of the great ideas and entrepreneurship found here at UMBC.